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Added by PvtCaboose91 on 18 Jan 2014 08:00
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2014 in Cinema: From Best to Worst

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People who added this item 1854 Average listal rating (1286 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.1
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People who added this item 1123 Average listal rating (775 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8


"The prophecy is made up, but it's also true. It's about all of us. Right now, it's about you. And you... still... can change everything."

The Lego Movie is a blast of pure awesomeness, an infinitely enjoyable animated feature which lives up to and surpasses its hype. Masterminded by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), it's a strikingly original piece of cinema, on top of being perhaps the boldest motion picture of 2014 so far. Here is a computer-animated movie with deliberately rocky animation to emulate the look of a YouTube stop-motion effort, and it's so infectiously funny and creative that it frequently feels like a devilishly goofy fan film. With an immense sense of energy and plenty of imagination, The Lego Movie is snappy and amusing, and it's difficult to wipe the smile off your face as you watch it.

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People who added this item 1014 Average listal rating (735 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9
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People who added this item 919 Average listal rating (633 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
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People who added this item 1477 Average listal rating (998 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
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People who added this item 622 Average listal rating (458 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.8
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"Captain, in order to build a better world, sometimes means turning the old one down... And that makes enemies."

Marvel doesn't have the best track record with second instalments, with Iron Man 2 and 2013's Thor: The Dark World both paling in comparison to their respective predecessors. But whatever curse once existed has now faded with the release of 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a sequel which not only improves upon its satisfying predecessor but also emerges as perhaps the best Marvel feature to date. Whereas 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger was an old-fashioned WWII thriller, this follow-up is a modern spy potboiler with a fresh identity, taking the franchise in new and exciting directions. Helmed by Anthony and Joe Russo, The Winter Soldier is intricate in its plotting, character development and political satire, yet also boasts some of the best action sequences in the Marvel canon to date, making this a hugely enjoyable sit which doesn't require a temporary lobotomy prior to viewing.

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People who added this item 885 Average listal rating (588 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7
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People who added this item 751 Average listal rating (509 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7
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People who added this item 1141 Average listal rating (795 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.9
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"It will be a few months. You can't know where I am. And I can't be seen anywhere near you."

Sequels to hit motion pictures are always a dubious proposition, especially action sequels which very rarely live up to their predecessors, let alone surpass them. 2014's The Raid 2: Berandal is one of the rare exceptions to the rule, however. Written and directed yet again by Gareth Evans, this sequel to 2012's The Raid: Redemption confidently raises the bar for contemporary action movies, with astonishing scenes of martial arts that most likely will never be topped. Whereas its predecessor was a small-scale action fiesta, Berandal is closer to The Departed (or Infernal Affairs, the Hong Kong film which spawned it) as it's imbued with a denser story and it's much bigger in scale. Nevertheless, it feels like an organic continuation, and it delivers the type of bone-crunching fights and breathtaking action beats that the niche audience expect to see.

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People who added this item 265 Average listal rating (183 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.7
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People who added this item 175 Average listal rating (95 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.7
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People who added this item 856 Average listal rating (508 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.8
Noah (2014)


"My father said that one day, if man continued in his ways, the Creator would annihilate this world..."

In spite of what Paramount's marketing campaign would have you believe, 2014's Noah is not Darren Aronofsky selling out with a dumb mainstream blockbuster. On the contrary, this was a long-gestating passion project for the filmmaker, and the product is unmistakably an Aronofsky effort. Incredibly audacious and ambitious, it's a magnificent realisation of the well-worn story of "Noah's Ark," though it's definitely not for all tastes. Noah will become one of 2014's most polarising films (this reviewer witnessed a number of walkouts), as Aronofsky's vision is bleak and brutal - it's much too dark to be confused with a children's fairy tale. Trailers have been selling an entirely different motion picture, with Paramount foregrounding the blockbuster-ish moments as much as possible, of which there is maybe ten minutes' worth in the movie's entire 140-minute duration. Trust me, you don't need to be religious to get swept up in this involving drama which stands as one of Aronofsky's finest achievements.

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People who added this item 61 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.7


"It's happened. Approximate location of impact: the North Atlantic. As I speak to you right now, it's making its way towards our fair nation."

The horror genre has practically become synonymous with paranormal overtones, with 2013 alone begetting titles like The Conjuring and Evil Dead which involve chilling supernatural occurrences to generate scares. But 2014's These Final Hours is a different type of genre movie. It's definitely a horror flick, but its scares are not derived from ghosts or demons, but rather from its depiction of the ugly side of human nature in the face of a societal collapse. It's an apocalypse film on a dime, eschewing images of large-scale global destruction to present a focused depiction of suburban meltdown on the eve of the world's end. These Final Hours works because it's not about the apocalypse per se - rather, it's a tale about people dealing with the knowledge of the impending disaster. The result is powerful and not easily forgotten, and may compel you to mull over what you would do on Earth's final day.

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People who added this item 136 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Tracks (2013)
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People who added this item 949 Average listal rating (661 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Godzilla (2014)
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People who added this item 509 Average listal rating (327 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
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People who added this item 339 Average listal rating (155 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.1
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People who added this item 219 Average listal rating (138 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.4


"Not one single person noticed I'd been replaced by an evil criminal mastermind?"

Despite its shortcomings in terms of pacing and character focus, 2011's The Muppets was a delightful revivification of the ailing Muppets franchise, making Jim Henson's iconic creations feel relevant once again. Striking while the iron's hot, 2014's Muppets Most Wanted retains director James Bobin and co-writer Nicholas Stoller, who actually improve upon their last endeavour, providing more laughs and plenty of inspired silliness, not to mention a superb selection of original songs. Whereas its 2011 predecessor was fundamentally the ultimate fan film, Muppets Most Wanted aims to get back to Muppet basics as if the gang never left. Thus, this new outing follows the template set by the original Henson-era trilogy, introducing a flimsy plot which blatantly exists as an excuse for gags, antics and songs.

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People who added this item 573 Average listal rating (384 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
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People who added this item 416 Average listal rating (291 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.5
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People who added this item 268 Average listal rating (168 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
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People who added this item 640 Average listal rating (437 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.3
Neighbors (2014)
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"We might be staring down the barrel of a full-scale invasion..."

Although Warner Brothers have been producing DC Universe Animated Original Movies since 2007, the resultant productions have not exactly abided by a shared continuity, instead telling standalone stories without a real through-line. This all changes with 2014's Justice League: War, as it's intended to be the beginning of a linked franchise of animated superhero movies, not unlike what Marvel has achieved with their live-action blockbuster franchise. Starting afresh, War is an origins story for the titular superhero gang, designed to follow the DC Comics "New 52" reboot which kicked off in 2011. An adaptation of the six-issue Justice League: Origins series, War is a blast on its own merits; a fun, action-packed superhero outing with all the bluster and bombast that comic book fans will be anticipating. However, greatness lies just out of its reach, and the fact that it falls so short of becoming a masterpiece is frustrating indeed.

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People who added this item 296 Average listal rating (208 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.8


"It seems we've ripped a hole in the space-time continuum..."

The characters of Mr. Peabody and Sherman first appeared in animated shorts back in the 1960s as part of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, and now Hollywood have gotten their hands on the property, producing a feature-length animated expansion with franchise potential. Luckily, director Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) was tasked with masterminding the project, with his love and respect for the source material making him an ideal chaperone. Mr Peabody & Sherman is a fun little animated movie, and it's a lot more tolerable than this reviewer had anticipated. It's unmistakably a DreamWorks Animation production since it favours fast gags and rapid pacing over profound emotional depth and maturity, but it's hard to complain too much when the resulting product is this genuinely funny and entertaining.

Although the picture is aimed at kids, it contains humour to keep the adult demographic entertained, as well - Peabody disperses hilarious puns almost non-stop, and there are sly references to movies like 300 and Spartacus. It helps that the voice cast is so sublime, with Ty Burrell a perfect pick for the role of Peabody, while Max Charles gives a warm, endearing childlike innocence to the role of Sherman. Admittedly, it does feel more like an episode of Family Guy at times, even recruiting Patrick Warburton (who voices Joe on the show) for a minor part. Still, I like Family Guy, and the adaptation nevertheless works.

In the end, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a fun little animated diversion which breezes by and has plenty of replay value. It's a visually sumptuous and there are plenty of laughs, and it's not a bottom-of-the-barrel diversion which skirts by on autopilot (Planes, anyone?). Perhaps a bit more intelligence and maturity wouldn't have gone astray considering the source, but the movie is nevertheless an amiable time-waster.

7.2/10

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People who added this item 341 Average listal rating (233 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 5.4
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People who added this item 212 Average listal rating (145 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.7


"Some of us are getting paid, the rest of us are just getting dead."

David Ayer has established himself as a purveyor of gritty crime films over the years, with the likes of End of Watch, Street Kings and Harsh Times under his belt. Co-written by Skip Woods, 2014's Sabotage is not exactly fresh territory for the filmmaker, who dreams up a twisty action-thriller that's dark, repugnant, and viciously violent. The movie also features the acting talents of Arnold Schwarzenegger, making a wise decision to star in what's essentially an auteur effort. Sabotage is not a typical Schwarzenegger vehicle, but rather a David Ayer film through-and-through, with the Austrian Oak playing a much darker role than usual. Although the end result is uneven and was clearly the victim of studio interference, it's definitely a fun enough watch, even if it's not the genuine keeper it could've been.

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People who added this item 736 Average listal rating (445 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.2


"Better we show them, we chose to die on our feet, rather than live on our knees!"

A long-rumoured, long-delayed follow-up, 2014's 300: Rise of an Empire arrives seven years after Zack Snyder's breakout graphic novel adaptation grossed an absolute mint at the global box office. More a companion piece than a straight sequel, Rise tells a parallel story which takes place before, during and after the events of the 2007 flick, shedding light on the naval aspect of the war between the Greeks and the Persians. Although Snyder relinquished the director's chair this time around, he nevertheless produced and co-wrote Rise, loosely basing the screenplay on the as-yet unpublished Frank Miller graphic novel Xerxes (itself a sequel to his 300 graphic novel). The new director here is Noam Murro, tasked with mimicking Snyder's style without coming off as a cheap copycat. Thankfully, Murro fast finds his footing, resulting in an often organic-feeling second instalment that has its own voice. Thrilling and entertaining, it's an unapologetically manly movie, the first must-see actioner of 2014.

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"Obviously you don't know the first rule of the outback, hero. You never, ever stop!"

Despite its mixed critical reception, 2005's Wolf Creek transformed into something of a sleeper hit at the global box office, becoming a cult film with some revering it as the Australian answer to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Arriving nine long years after its forerunner, Wolf Creek 2 is not an unnecessary direct-to-video follow-up, but rather a robust, vicious blast of Aussie horror produced with a competent sleight-of-hand. The sequel was directed and co-written by Greg McLean, who masterminded the original picture before going on to create the 2007 crocodile thriller Rogue. Wolf Creek 2 is a slight step down in quality from its forerunner, but its a worthy successor which doesn't diminish its integrity, and feels like an organic continuation of the 2005 chiller. It's hard to imagine any long-time fans being disappointed.

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People who added this item 489 Average listal rating (309 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6.1


"You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they'll still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements and it's as if they never existed. That's what Hitler wants and that's exactly what we are fighting for."

The heart of The Monuments Men is in the right place. A historical drama set during World War II, it's an affectionate throwback to Hollywood's golden era, recreating the spirit of war pictures from the '50s and '60s. It's the latest from George Clooney, who directs, co-writes and stars, working with frequent collaborator Grant Heslov to mount a wonderfully old-fashioned war film which was initially intended for the 2013 awards season. However, the release shift to early 2014 does make sense - while The Monuments Men is often compelling adult entertainment, it's also an undeniably flawed effort which cannot quite come together as well as it should. Most notably absent here is cohesion, as the film amounts to a string of vignettes which lack connective tissue. Still, Clooney stages each of the various set-pieces with finesse, and it's admirable that this is a character-driven picture as opposed to a battlefield-centric endeavour.

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People who added this item 246 Average listal rating (157 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 6.2
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No explanation needed. My third annual movie ranking list.

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